Dec 2, 2015 | By Kira

Optomec, a provider of advanced additive manufacturing solutions, today announced that GE Ventures and Autodesk, through its Spark Investment Fund, have made strategic investments in the company, with the goal of furthering the development, production and deployment of Optomec’s proprietary solutions in areas such as 3D printed sensors, 3D printed electronics and 3D printed metal. Optomec has a successful track record working with both GE Ventures and Autodesk, which just goes to show that having strong industry connections can go a very long way towards advancing technological developments and strategic growth across additive manufacturing leaders.

Optomec has been using its patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology to 3D print antennas and sensors for several years. According to the company, Aerosol Jet printing utilizes aerodynamic focusing to precisely deposit nanomaterials to produce fine feature circuitry and embedded components without the use of masks or patterns. The resulting functional electronics can have line widths and pattern features ranging from 10's of microns to centimeters.

GE Ventures, which invests in software, advanced manufacturing, energy, and healthcare, was in fact one of the first customers to acquire an Aerosol Jet Printed electronics system back in 2005, and their relationship has been going strong ever since. Recently, GE Ventures collaborated with Optomec in the area of 3D sensors that are 3D printed directly onto high-value components. These tightly integrated sensors provide critical structural input and can reduce the life cycle of complex mechanical systems.

“It’s always a great opportunity when we are able to invest in a company we’ve been working with as part of a customer relationship,” said Steve Taub, Senior Director, Advanced Manufacturing at GE Ventures. “We know from direct experience that Optomec’s Advanced Manufacturing solutions are successful and look forward to its continued developments within the space.”

As for Autodesk, the well-known developer of 3D design software, it has a similarly fruitful history with Optomec: Autodesk’s software tools were used to generate the design data that actually drives Optomec’s 3D printer systems. Through this partnership, both companies will strive to develop software tools that seamlessly connect additive manufacturing hardware and software, all while leveraging the Spark 3D printing platform.

“The Spark Investment Fund aims to push the boundaries of additive manufacturing, and we believe a connected ecosystem between hardware and software is key in spurring innovation and collaboration,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Consumer and 3D Printing, Autodesk. “We’re excited to have a shared vision with Optomec in enabling additive manufacturing technology to be seamlessly integrated into conventional production platforms to advance the overall design and fabrication process.”

“Optomec is extremely pleased to welcome GE Ventures and Autodesk as strategic investors. Both companies are at the vanguard in embracing additive manufacturing as a next generation production technology,” added Optomec CEO Dave Ramahi. “Our strategic visions are well aligned on many fronts, ranging from the need for an open systems approach to drive adoption, to the role that these technologies can play in advancing key initiatives such as the Industrial Internet and IoT. We are very fortunate to be able to draw on their technical and commercial expertise.”

In business as in life, it’s important to surround yourself with good people; and in the case of Autodesk, GE Ventures, and Optomec, good companies that have a proven track record of successful collaborations in the field of advanced additive manufacturing.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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